Foreigners coming to Brazil sometimes bring all their family, including their pets. There are a few procedures that need to be followed in order to legally import your pet to Brazil and in this article we will give you an introduction on the topic.
Brazil has specific regulations for bringing animals that are classified as a pet, or Animais de Companhia in Portuguese. There are two main branches of the government that are responsible for the transit of pets in Brazil. The first one is MAPA, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, which are responsible for most animals like cats, dogs, birds, ferrets, iguanas etc. The second branch is IBAMA, who are in charge of allowing the transportation of wildlife species. These authorities also regulate the transportation of the animal inside Brazilian territory.
MAPA created specific rules and requirements for the import of domestic cats and dogs, which aims to simplify the import of these animals to Brazil, by exempting the owners of needing to request import permission.
Getting the animal’s health certificate
The owner of the pets must present the animal’s Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, or CVI that is issued by a veterinary. The document differs slightly from country to country, but it should contain at least the following information:
- Full name and address of the animal’s owner
- Name, gender, breed, birth date, weight, color and markings
- Country of origin and country of destination
- Statement of health based on physical examination
Once you have the CVI, you may need to take it to a Brazilian consulate and get it validated. We recommend that you contact your local Brazilian authority to avoid headaches when your pet arrives in the country. It is important that the certificate is issued or sworn translated to Portuguese.
Bringing your dog or cat to Brazil
Even though the procedure is simplified, domestic dogs and cats must fulfill some health requirements to be allowed to enter Brazil. These requirements are:
- Animals that are 90 days or older are required to have vaccination against rabies. This vaccine needs to be approved by the Veterinarian Authority in the country of origin
- If the animal is younger than 90 days, entry to the country is allowed if there is a remark in the CVI, by the Veterinarian Authority in the country of origin, stating that the animal was not on a premise where urban rabies was registered within the last 90 days
- If the animal was vaccinated for the first time, the animal can only leave the country of origin 21 days after the vaccination
- If the country is compliant with the regulations of the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE, to be officially declared free from rabies, the animal is exempt from presenting the proof for the vaccination against this disease, but this information should be included in the CVI
- The CVI should include the immunization against other diseases and information about other treatments that the animal was subject to over the last 3 months
- Within 15 days prior to the issuance of the CVI, the animal should be subject to effective treatment to remove any internal or external parasites using products approved by the Veterinarian Authority in the country of origin
- Within 10 days prior to the issuance of the CVI, the animal should be subject to an examination performed by an authorized veterinarian in the country of origin to verify that the animal is clinically healthy, free of any parasites and able to be transported to Brazil
- Under no circumstances will Brazil allow the entry of animals that have been previously diagnosed with leishmaniasis
What about other pets?
Animals other than dogs and cats, have specific regulations and procedures, which includes requesting import permission, but this will depend on the species of the animal and country of origin. Therefore it is important to contact the local Brazilian authority, whether an embassy or consulate, to obtain more information specific to the animal you want to bring. For example, if you have an exotic bird, you will need an authorization issued by IBAMA. MAPA can be contacted at the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confirming that the airline will allow your pet to be transported
Once you have your pet’s health certificate, you must contact the airline and confirm that your pet is travelling with you. This must be done in advance as some companies restrict the number of animals per flight.
Each country has different regulations regarding the transportation of animals and the same applies to the airlines, so it is necessary to check the procedure directly with the company you have chosen.
However, some procedures are common with most of them, such as the restriction of branchycephalic cats and dogs, which are short-nosed animals, as they are subjected more to breathing problems and may die during transportation.
The pet must be carried in a box (a kennel) that is big enough to allow it to move, lay down and stand up. It must also have a water and food reservoir.